I Want A Church In Which I Can Feel Influential (not about me)

In a follow up to yesterday’s plaint about the plight of Reformed Protestantism comes a jumble of comments about what people are looking for in a church. One of the problems that Reformed Protestants face is that their provisions are so meager, more cheeze-wiz than brie. Paul did seem to be on to this in his first epistle to those saints in Corinth who wanted a glorious church. Preaching is folly, both its content and form. And these days, the ministry of the Word cannot sustain the show that would-be ministries can. “You preach the Bible and your services are full of Scripture?” “Great, but what about Trayvon Martin and the Muslim Brotherhood?” “You don’t get out much, do you?”

So what will millennials who think biblical instruction so 1990s find if they follow Rachel Held Evans?

What millennials really want from the church is not a change in style but a change in substance.

We want an end to the culture wars. We want a truce between science and faith. We want to be known for what we stand for, not what we are against.

We want to ask questions that don’t have predetermined answers.

We want churches that emphasize an allegiance to the kingdom of God over an allegiance to a single political party or a single nation.

We want our LGBT friends to feel truly welcome in our faith communities.

We want to be challenged to live lives of holiness, not only when it comes to sex, but also when it comes to living simply, caring for the poor and oppressed, pursuing reconciliation, engaging in creation care and becoming peacemakers.

Well, she could find some of this in a confessional Reformed church minus the bits on sex and welfare, but I’m not holding my breath that Ms. Evans will be joining even the PCA soon.

Jake Meador, whom I assume to be a millennial, thinks Evans is bluffing (or worse):

It’s true that the younger evangelicals doing their Chicken Little routine are completely ignoring what happened to the last generation to insist that “Christianity must change or die.” But the far more amusing thing is not the historical ignorance on display in such comments, but the ecclesiastical arrogance of such declarations. Hearing it, one can’t help being reminded of the late George Carlin’s rant about environmentalists intent on “saving the planet”:

The planet has been through a lot worse than us. Been through all kinds of things worse than us. Been through earthquakes, volcanoes, plate tectonics, continental drift, solar flares, sun spots, magnetic storms, the magnetic reversal of the poles…hundreds of thousands of years of bombardment by comets and asteroids and meteors, worldwide floods, tidal waves, worldwide fires, erosion, cosmic rays, recurring ice ages…And we think some plastic bags, and some aluminum cans are going to make a difference?

Meanwhile, Anthony Bradley calls Evans bluff and ask why she doesn’t find the United Methodist Church to be the communion millennials are looking for:

The UMC is outside of the culture wars. It has no conflicts with science and faith and clearly teaches what they are for instead of against. The UMC is a place where LGBT friends are welcomed. Moreover, if anyone knows anything about Wesleyanism, you know that Methodists have a deep emphasis on personal holiness and social action. Again, the Jesus that Evans wants to find is waiting for her and her followers in the UMC.

Again, herein lies the core question: Why doesn’t Evans, and others who embrace her critique of “the church,” simply encourage Millennials, who do not believe Jesus “is found” in their churches, to join churches like the UMC? If someone is passionate about Jesus and is truly looking for him, but doesn’t find him in one church, wouldn’t it stand to reason that a genuine search would lead that person to another church where it is believed Jesus actually is? It makes me wonder if the Evans critique is not about something else.

One reason Evans may not join the UMC is that she might find there another version of the culture wars, one that goes on under the old name, Social Gospel. Here, for instance, is a description of the United Church of Christ’s General Synod (John Winthrop and John Williamson Nevin are turning in their graves, though in opposite rotations):

Earnest discussion and debate focused on the status of women in society, tax reform, immigration reform, financial support for seminary students (backed up with a synod offering), mountaintop removal coal mining, racism, discrimination, and denominational restructure. An outdoor rally in celebration of the Supreme Court’s ruling on DOMA affirmed the church’s position on gay marriage. Delegates and speakers lamented the ruling on voting rights.

Deep commitment to advocacy and justice matters was and is inspiring. I hope for critical thinking about gospel justice and advocacy at any RCA General Synod. In Long Beach, as discussions wound up and down, I marveled at the impassioned advocacy. Yet, my RCA yen for a solid biblical foundation kicked in. Sometimes I yearned to hear a word of scripture or more of the theological premise behind a passionate speech.

Worries about the Social Gospel even exist among Protestant converts to Rome, where the Social Teaching of the Church has become one of the top items on the list indicating the Vatican’s superiority and which Francis appears to be stretching in ways that call upon various and sundry lay Roman Catholics to explain what the Holy Father is up to. Here is one worried priest:

The social gospel is a heresy, and like every heresy, it is not completely wrong. It is only half right. We are supposed to feed the hungry, house the homeless, heal the sick and work for justice and peace, but this is the fruit of our faith in Christ. It is the result of our redemption, not the primary point of our faith. The first objective is the salvation of our souls, and from this faith in Christ we are transformed into his likeness, and as we are transformed into his likeness we begin to do his work in the world. If we jump straight to the good works, then we are guilty of the old heresy of Pelagianism: trying to be good enough under our own steam.

The reason I say this is a problem for the new pope is not because I think he teaches the social gospel, but because it will be perceived and promoted that he does. I am convinced (despite the worries of some of my friends) that Pope Francis is God’s man for the church today. I’m convinced that he is fully orthodox, and that he will not compromise the Catholic faith at all, but instead will build up Christ’s church and be a wonderful global evangelist.

What concerns me is that the man and his message will be hi jacked by the worldly powers who would love nothing more than to emasculate the message of Jesus Christ and reduce the whole of the Catholic faith to an nice system of inspiring people to be nicer to one another. The stupid worldly powers try to persecute and obliterate the church. The really smart ones embrace the church and use it for their own ends. Henry VIII, for example, was one of the smart ones. He did not seek to abolish the Catholic Church. He simply stole it and turned it into an instrument of English nationalism and a force for consolidating his power over the English people.

Likewise the really smart worldly powers of today would like nothing better than to co-opt the Catholic Church into a one world system of bringing about peace, justice and niceness for all. If the Christian gospel can be reduced to a message of good will and kindliness, and if the Christian religion can be reduced to a network of soup kitchens and homeless hostels, the worldly powers will be happy.

We have seen the capitulation of most Christian groups in the developed world to this agenda already. The mainstream liberal Protestant denominations adopted the social gospel long ago, and are now not much more than a group of peace and justice campaigners who meet on Sunday for strategy sessions. The hip Evangelicals have gone a different, but similar route. Increasingly their message is one of self help, success strategies, rehab therapies, good parenting and how to manage your money. The cross of Christ and the need for repentance and redemption is quietly downplayed, diluted and discarded.

Pope Francis’ admirable emphasis on simplicity, ministry to the poor and justice for the marginalized will play into this tendency in our modern world. That’s why he is, at least at present, such a media darling. The mainstream media will play up his social gospel appearance and quietly ignore everything he says about true Catholicism. They will ignore any call for repentance and the need for forgiveness. They will ignore the cross where Christ the Lord was sacrificed for the sins of mankind. They will ignore everything he says about the Mass, the communion of the saints, the reality of heaven and hell and the need for the salvation of souls.

Meanwhile, for millenials thinking that the High Church traditions may hold the solution, consider this (thanks to Jeff Polet). Maybe I should say no thanks since not even the feline factor can redeem such blasphemy.

All of this makes me very thankful (all about me) for a local church where the pastor proclaims the word and administers the Supper every Sunday. It’s not very flashy. Then again, neither was manna in the wilderness.

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194 Comments

  1. Posted August 7, 2013 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Sean and TVD, I don’t think the copies in Invasion of the Body Snatchers were happy.

  2. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Invasion of B.S. works too.

  3. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    Ah, God’s Pod People. Of course the doctrine of irresistible grace, where God not only walks through the door but is the one to open it in the first place, leaves this particular piece of sarcasm in a theological bind. Resistance is futile.

    You do, however, retain the free will to be crabby, so it’s all starting to add up now…

  4. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink

    TVD, you’re struggling, as usual, putting the pieces together. I’m crabby now. I was a PTSD suffering RC survivor with a crank habit. God works with us where He finds us. How’s Justin doing?

  5. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

    sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:24 pm | Permalink
    TVD, you’re struggling, as usual, putting the pieces together. I’m crabby now. I was a PTSD suffering RC survivor with a crank habit. God works with us where He finds us. How’s Justin doing?

    Crabby in an existential sense, sean. Not getting personal. As for your life history, an ex-anything is usually the last guy to talk to on a personal level. In my historical stuff, I end up defending the fundies as a matter of religious pluralism. Usually from people brought up fundamentalist.

    It ain’t pretty.

  6. Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    Tater was downright giddy when he posted here earlier this week.

    Most of the people responding to me there, other than Casey Chalk, were pretty crabby. That site sucks about as much as Baylyblog. Put that in your ecumenical pipe and smoke it.

    Casey is the one who told me the contributors can see the comments while they are in moderation.

    Tom’s notion of blogs being timeless is laughable. The internet is about as un-timeless as it gets. Maybe I’ll restart my Facebook page so I can leave a legacy.

  7. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    Their past discussions are quite readable and worth reading because of the moderating, I’ve followed the links from some of Darryl’s articles. I even saw the pre-conversion Jason Stellman. Now THAT was interesting.

    Fortunately, nobody will be reading the ones here ever again nor do I expect anyone to be “called to crabbiness” who isn’t already crabby. It all works out well.

  8. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:00 pm | Permalink

    Josh, I wasn’t referring to you as being uncharitable, so I apologize if I wasn’t clear. I was referring to Erik charging me with muddling the gospel, but failing to say how. All Erik did is plop at an article on justification which I tend to agree with, although I haven’t had time to read it all. It is over 90 pages.

    Now as to your statement:

    “It is untrue to say that one must be sanctified in order to be justified.”

    Depends Josh, *definitive* sanctification, ie faith and repentance surely proceeds justification, no? One must first repent and have faith prior to justification and union with Christ, no? It’s faith that is the alone instrument, correct? Well then, definitive sanctification must proceed justification.

    Who repents Josh? You or God? Is repentance a *work* wrought in us by the Holy Spirit as a free gift of his grace? How about faith? Who exercises faith? Isn’t God wrought faith the very instrument that puts us in union with Christ and gives us, justification, sanctification, adoption and ultimately consummation? Shouldn’t one have faith prior to being justified?

    If yes, then I don’t think your sentence gives us the full picture.

    Feel free to critique me, I’m all ears………..

    Here is my order:

    Regeneration (Purely a work of God giving us a new heart)
    Repentance and faith (definitive sanctification) which is a result of having a new heart
    Union, which gives us all the other benefits like: Justification
    sanctification
    adoption
    consummation
    Moreover, I think they can happen almost simultaneously, with sanctification an ongoing work of God in our lives.

    What’s wrong with that? And how does that muddle the good news?

  9. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    TVD: Fortunately, nobody will be reading the ones here ever again nor do I expect anyone to be “called to crabbiness” who isn’t already crabby. It all works out well.

    Me: See that wasn’t such a long walk. Welcome.

    I do like your schtick of being the credentialed historian observing the creatures in their artificial habitat. It has all the antiquity of modernity and all the scholarship of a combox response. You should pitch it to Phil Hendrie as a new persona.

  10. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    “Their past discussions are quite readable and worth reading because of the moderating.”

    Pornography is also really great because of the women’s natural, unadorned beauty. Good grief…

  11. Josh Taylor
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    Doug,
    When you use the term salvation, do you equate this with the entire ordo salutis? Again I am just trying to understand how you define terms.

    As far as your response to my question (and I believe this has to do with the limitations of this media) I gave you the context of the question. The OPC report on Justification. It’s not my statement, but a statement from the report. You changed the context of the statement and did not answer the question in any meaningful way. Do you agree with the statement in the context in which it was written?

  12. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm | Permalink
    TVD: Fortunately, nobody will be reading the ones here ever again nor do I expect anyone to be “called to crabbiness” who isn’t already crabby. It all works out well.

    Me: See that wasn’t such a long walk. Welcome.

    I do like your schtick of being the credentialed historian observing the creatures in their artificial habitat. It has all the antiquity of modernity and all the scholarship of a combox response. You should pitch it to Phil Hendrie as a new persona.

    I’m not credentialed. I call myself more a student of history than a historian. I don’t even write “an” historian.

    But some historians like my work. A lot.

    As for my study of the Warrior Children, it’s about complete. You’ve given me quite a window into the Calvinist mindset and worldview, even as you deny you even have a worldview. You’ll be surprised to learn it will result more in my explaining Calvinists sympathetically–as you understand yourselves–than sitting in judgment of your absurd theology.

    Ooops, did I just say that? Scratch that–as a student of history, it’s not up to me to judge. It’s all good. ;-)

  13. Posted August 7, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    “As for my study of the Warrior Children, it’s about complete.”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ddmXM-96-no

    I’m starting to consider a monetary incentive to facilitate that.

  14. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:02 pm | Permalink

    “You’ll be surprised to learn it will result more in my explaining Calvinists sympathetically–as you understand yourselves–than sitting in judgment of your absurd theology.”

    Who knew Penthouse Magazine was still publishing investigative freelance journalism.

  15. AB
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    Pretty rich, Tom. You’ve got Machen figured out? My guess is the next time I open up oldlife dot org (ie 2014), you and the crew will be enjoying a beer together here, acting like you were always an oldlifer.

    Really, man. This is entertaining reading.

    Spaulding’s enjoying this show immensely,
    AB

    PS See you in 2015. Work on that golf swing in the meantime!

  16. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink

    From the dispassionate, objective scholar of Calvinism:

    Submitted on 2013/05/16 at 3:44 am | In reply to mikelmann.

    I realize you’re Darryl’s self-appointed gatekeeper and sergeant at arms and I respect you for that, Erik. But he completely embarrassed himself on his under-informed attack on the “Two Swords” papal bull Unam Sanctam

    http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/15126a.htm

    I was kind enough not to rub his nose in it on his own blog. I’m not about winning, about scorching your earth. But it’s just us chickens here at your blog.

    What’s “hard” is smacking you arrogant know-nothings in the head for your arrogance without destroying our line of communication. That’s what I meant about winning a fight with your wife. You can always win the argument–or she can–if you sink low enough. But in the end, the marriage–the communication–will be destroyed.

    If you fight with love, you hit only hard enough to be heard, not to win. And that’s what you’ve been getting from me, my brother.

    I haven’t even begun to express myself at Darryl’s blog. At this point, the debate hasn’t even started, let alone discussion as brothers in Christ or whatever you call it. We’re still defining terms, and frankly, you’re throwing a monkey wrench into every click of the gears, as if disrupting the discussion at every turn is the only way that you can be a part of it.

    I don’t think that’s so. Give it some air. Re-evaluate the “cliches” you say you understand and rejected. Do it all fresh.

    If I’d come to the OldLife blog just to win a debate, frankly I already did, and more frankly, Darryl loses every time he attacks Catholic theology, because he clearly doesn’t understand it. The Catholics like Bryan Cross stop by just to give him the mildest of slaps upside the head for his theological amateurism. Catholic theology may be wrong, but it’s not easy pickings like the Baylys. You gotta bring your A game, your A+ game.

    And if I really had an agenda, Erik, I’d have already scorched your earth, wham, bam, thank you ma’am. It’s not about that, never was. I don’t think of you as the Baylys. Hell, I don’t even think of the Baylys as you think of the Baylys.

    Frankly, you’re losing to them and the fundie/evangelicals. And to the Roman Catholic Church too. If we’re playing Rock Paper Scissors, you’re playing lukewarm water, and that isn’t even in the game.

    I know you have more passion than this. Live out your life as a moral eunuch who never did no wrong, but did no right either, then collect your ticket to heaven? Ever read Dante?

  17. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:07 pm | Permalink

    Look at the inner curmudgeon come out.

    “I’m not credentialed.”

    “But some historians like my work. A lot”.

    “As for my study of the Warrior Children, it’s about complete.” “…….it will result more in my explaining Calvinists sympathetically”

    You can’t imagine my excitement. It’s had all the effort, insight and depth of understanding as an Oxford Capacity Analysis administered by L. Ron Hubbard himself. You are a true Thetan. Watch out for those SP’s as you go forward.

  18. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I speculated a long time ago that he was a Scientologist. It fits. There’s a Lancaster Dodd aesthetic there.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LBYblvESIag

  19. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    On Tom’s departure from “Ordinary Times”:

    http://ordinary-gentlemen.com/blog/2012/12/05/parting-ways

    “Tom was a gifted writer, and could, when he’s not trying to tweak others’ sensibilities, could write some cogent and well-executed prose. I’ll miss that Tom.

    Then, there was the other Tom. The one who delighted in stirring up shit, and in probing the tender spots of his ideological adversaries. The one who would never acknowledge when he caused offense, and never, ever back down or apologize. The one who would write with purposeful obtuseness, and then complain that no one understood him. That guy I won’t miss so much.”

  20. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    Josh asks; Doug, “When you use the term salvation, do you equate this with the entire ordo salutis? Again I am just trying to understand how you define terms.”

    Me: Yes, they are all saving benefits of being united to Christ.

    Josh asks: “As far as your response to my question (and I believe this has to do with the limitations of this media) I gave you the context of the question. The OPC report on Justification. It’s not my statement, but a statement from the report. You changed the context of the statement and did not answer the question in any meaningful way. Do you agree with the statement in the context in which it was written?”

    Me: Josh, I don’t understand what context you’re talking about. The question you asked is too ambiguous to answer simplistically yes or no. Like I said, definitive sanctification precedes justification. Both are necessary! You can’t have one without the other. Just like one cannot be justified if he lacks faith and repentance.

    So it’s kind of a silly question, no? If you think it’s a good question, please explain why this logical order has any relevance in your life one way or the other.

  21. Josh Taylor
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:54 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    I am asking if you agree with a statement from the report on Justification that the OPC produced. There are few pages of context in which the statement is made. I assume you are familiar with the report. IF not, then I understand your confusion. Do you agree with the report or not? Specifically when it states on page 29 “it is untrue to say that one must be sanctified in order to be justified. Justification and sanctification bear a relationship to each other that cannot be reversed.”

  22. Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

    Josh, I fully agree that it’s God who does a work in our heart, and gives us the gift of faith, which then causes true repentance, and unites us with Christ. Once united with Christ we enjoy both justification and sanctification along with adoption and one day glorification.

    Can you tell me how that understanding muddles the good news?

  23. Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    Josh, my computer won’t pull up the report, so yes I am a bit confused.

  24. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:24 pm | Permalink

    AB
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 7:06 pm | Permalink
    Pretty rich, Tom. You’ve got Machen figured out? My guess is the next time I open up oldlife dot org (ie 2014), you and the crew will be enjoying a beer together here, acting like you were always an oldlifer.

    Really, man. This is entertaining reading.

    Spaulding’s enjoying this show immensely,
    AB

    PS See you in 2015. Work on that golf swing in the meantime!

    Not so much JG Machen—I was speaking of the Warrior Children, Mr. Hello I Must Be Going. Hope you enjoyed the Good Samaritan discussion, or at least the end of it I held up. It presents a real problem for the theology here.

    As for the rest, now I’m a Scientologist, it seems. Erik’s trolling the internet trying to get the goods on me and wonders why nobody trusts him with their personal details. Because it’s all grist for the mill, Erik. The Warrior Children attack. That’s what they do. You hit on an unintentional irony with the Scientology riff, sean, but ’tis I who am the SP, ’tis I who am “Fair Game.” ;-P

  25. Josh Taylor
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    Doug,

    I don’t know yet whether I disagree with what you are saying. Thats why I have been asking you questions. I just don’t want to be talking past each other because we might use different words and mean the same thing.

    If you get a chance to read the report please answer my question, but I understand if you have computer issues and cannot read what I am referencing.

  26. Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    Tom,

    Nothing you’ve told me personally (through e-mail) has made it on here or will make it on here. Blog comments and google searches are fair game.

  27. Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    “Not so much JG Machen—I was speaking of the Warrior Children, Mr. Hello I Must Be Going. Hope you enjoyed the Good Samaritan discussion, or at least the end of it I held up. It presents a real problem for the theology here.”

    Ordinary Times Commenter: “The one who would write with purposeful obtuseness, and then complain that no one understood him. That guy I won’t miss so much.”

    Exactly. Plus the arms the length of a gorilla from all of the patting himself on the back.

  28. Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Guys,

    On Sunday ask your Sessions and Consistories to consider shuttering your churches. If you’re in a lease, break it. If you own your building, call a realtor. Tom finally realized we have no answer for the Parables of the Sheep & The Goats and The Good Samaritan. He’s outed us. The jig is up. We can all return to evangelicalism or Catholicism. It’s over.

  29. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    Erik Charter
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    Nothing you’ve told me personally (through e-mail) has made it on here or will make it on here. Blog comments and google searches are fair game.
    ____________________
    That’s what I said–Fair Game. It’s a famous Scientology tactic, and here you are using it. Hope you’re proud of yourself, warrior child.

    As for my lynching at the Ordinary Times blog, it was the mob, left-wingers in that case. Couldn’t argue honestly, so they got me anyway on a trumped up charge. The story is here.

    http://sonnybunch.com/thoughtcrimes-ca-2012/

    You’re not pulling anything new, Erik. I predicted all this, it’s as old as history. The only question was the Judas Kiss. You win the honor. Well done, Erik, my friend, well done.

  30. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

    Josh, I assume you already know, but Doug is dodging. He doesn’t want to answer you directly because he finds the OPC report inadequate for his understanding of salvation as constituted per mystical union. He wants the renovative to be at least simultaneous with the forensic and declarative. He won’t abide the relation you posit from the report of justification to sanctification.

  31. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Erik, don’t sweat it. Narcissism only ever ends one way.

  32. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Tom,

    The offer for sincere engagement is always open if you’ll come clean about what you believe. Until then all you invite is ridicule when you make obvious logical errors. I can go either way.

  33. Tom Van Dyke
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:19 pm | Permalink

    Erik Charter
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:14 pm | Permalink
    Tom,

    The offer for sincere engagement is always open if you’ll come clean about what you believe. Until then all you invite is ridicule when you make obvious logical errors. I can go either way.

    No you can’t. In the end, you attack. It’s how the warrior children bowl.

  34. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    So what if I attack. If your beliefs stand up, they stand up. We give you entire Confessions to attack. After your several months here you have not said one thing that causes me to doubt what I believe – not one.

    When the Callers present their case there is potential for me to doubt my faith. When my sincere Atheist friend presents his case there is potential for me to doubt my faith. That’s why these are interesting discussions (at least when you can find a Caller to engage).

    When you stand for nothing that you are willing to expose no one takes you seriously. Why? Because for me to give up A there has to be a compelling B to take it’s place. If not, why bother changing? You’re not willing to risk ridicule so you convince no one of anything. It’s just a waste of everyone’s time. It’s like playing poker with Monopoly money. Man up and stand for something coherent or go away.

  35. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

    Sean, I think TVD would sound like Herb Sewell.

  36. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    Tom, and here I thought you already had Calvinism figured out. That was your original pitch at Oldlife. You know, Beza uber alles.

  37. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    Erik, great find. Then there was this:

    I was of mixed minds about Tom. On occasion, I found him amusing and insightful, but generally I found him purposely obtuse, as if he were writing in a code only he could understand, one open to various interpretations, none of which would ever be quite right. At which point, Tom would get pissed because you misinterpreted him.

  38. Posted August 7, 2013 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    Erik, oh you did see it.

  39. Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:02 pm | Permalink

    Tom, don’t take it so hard. Ordinary Times archived all your other posts. You sure do have thin skin.

  40. sean
    Posted August 7, 2013 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

    Can’t believe I missed that. Well done Darryl.

  41. Posted August 7, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    Sean, you may be right, regarding feeling rather dubious of the necessity of putting justification and sanctification in order. I could go either way, but I don’t see how it effects me one way or the other.

    What difference does it make, as long as I know I’m justified and sanctified in Christ. I fully embrace the doctrine of justification which is once for all, and I see that it’s not the same as sanctification, which is on going.

    Plus Sean, that report doesn’t mention definitive sanctification which precedes both justification and sanctification. So I guess I don’t see the necessity of putting them in order.

    Maybe you can show me how this matters one way or the other, since I’m ambivalent, but I have an open heart.

  42. Posted August 8, 2013 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    Sean and Josh, let me express my concern, As long as I hold to the exact doctrine of justification and sanctification, why must I put them in order? Be that as it may, I’ve noticed whenever people speak of sanctification being essential, the men at Old Life chafe with indignation. Yet even the OPC report say that sanctification cannot be separated from justification. If you cannot separate how can it not be essential?

    I almost feel like you are attacking me, for not answering a very technical question that I’m not sure about, that is much to do about nothing. If justification and sanctification are simultaneous; or not, what difference does it make in your life before men and Christ? Isn’t the real issue that we all agree on the doctrine? And that faith is the alone instrument that places us in Christ? Why fight over a esoteric order that is not taught clearly in Scripture? Isn’t this just a big waste of time?

    Now if I am wrong, or just blind which is a real possibility, then please explain what this is a big deal. And why do so many men here at Old Life get upset when sanctification gets emphasized? Please help me out with the significance and relevance of placing the saving works of Christ in order. In your own words please.

    Thanks in advance!

  43. Josh Taylor
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 1:29 am | Permalink

    Doug,

    I would suggest that you read the OPC report first and if you are a member of a OPC church then you should talk to your Elders about it. This medium isn’t good for very thoughtful theological discussion.

  44. AB
    Posted August 8, 2013 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Tom, you are mistaken in thinking my lack of posting means I went anywhere. As Erik says, I’ll fart in your general direction by sending you more liberal protestantism, that’s how I’ve classified you. Do you like that better than scientology?

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